Eloise Hawser: By the deep, by the mark

Part of the Charles Russell Speechlys Terrace Room Series
31 January – 22 April 2018
Terrace Rooms, South Wing, Free

From feats of engineering to forces of nature, Eloise Hawser excavates & reimagines the hidden flows of the city’s subterranean structures and the circulation in our bodies

Somerset House is delighted to announce a major exhibition by Somerset House Studios artist Eloise Hawser. The show will draw on Somerset House’s close relationship with the Thames, the Embankment and the past and future sewage systems that keep the city clean and its population healthy. Part exhibition, part installation, By the deep, by the mark is the result of over a year of research and artistic production whilst in residence onsite and offers visitors a unique insight into Hawser’s creative practice as well as hidden elements of Somerset House’s and London’s social, medical and engineering history.

Over three rooms, Hawser will lead visitors on a journey through a three dimensional mind-map comprised of sculptures, audiovisual displays, carefully researched archival material, floor vinyls and fully functional medical imaging ‘phantoms’. She suggests playful parallels between extraordinary feats of civil engineering and the intricate inner workings of the human body.

During her residency, Hawser has taken inspiration from the site’s history and influential position on the river, adding a site-specific element to the work. By the deep, by the mark opens with 19th-century archival images of Somerset House, showing how the river once flowed right into the building, and charts Bazalgette’s ground-breaking sewer system and subsequent attempts throughout the ages to reclaim the Thames as a space for leisure, rather than industry.

The artist weaves together remarkable innovations in modern medical science with pioneering works of civil engineering, from the 19th-century construction of Joseph Bazalgette’s sewer and the Thames Embankment to the contemporary Thames Tideway ‘Super Sewer’ project. By reanimating the past and mapping the present, Hawser will present both of these industries as the result of our fear of pollution and disease and the desire for control over our bodily processes.

Hawser juxtaposes maps, models and measurements of the Thames with cutting edge diagnostic ‘phantoms’, specialist machines rarely seen outside of a hospital or laboratory which are used to calibrate medical imaging equipment and analyse fluid dynamics within the body. By drawing together two seemingly unrelated disciplines, Hawser’s work suggests a correlation between revolutionary urban and medical innovations in the way they measure, process and predict mysterious natural and bodily phenomena.

Marie McPartlin, Director of Somerset House Studios, said:
“A year on from the launch of Somerset House Studios, we’re delighted to announce the first large-scale exhibition from a resident artist at Somerset House. The culmination of a lengthy research project into urban space and unusual collections supported by the Studios, the exhibition traverses engineering, mapping and technologies old and new. Reflecting Somerset House’s vision to be a centre of imagination and creation, By the deep, by the mark manifests our dedication to supporting the most exciting artists working today to make their most ambitious projects yet and presenting them as part of our programme”

By the deep, by the mark will be the second exhibition in the Charles Russell Speechlys Terrace Room Series, an ongoing partnership with the leading law firm to present a wide range of free exhibitions reflecting the broad interests of both organisations.



For press enquiries, please contact: Francesca Hughes, Senior Press Officer on press@somersethouse.org.uk / 0207 845 4624

31 January – 22 April 2018
Times: Monday, Tuesday, Saturday & Sundays 10.00-18.00 (last admission 17.00), Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays 11.00-20.00 (last admission 19.00)
Free available at www.somersethouse.org.uk
Address:  Terrace Rooms, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA
Transport:  Underground: Temple, Embankment / Rail:  Charing Cross, Waterloo, Blackfriars
Website:  www.somersethouse.org.uk
Somerset House Facebook: www.facebook.com/SomersetHouse
Somerset House Twitter: @SomersetHouse
Somerset House Instagram: @SomersetHouse
Hashtag: #EloiseHawser

About Somerset House
A unique part of the London cultural scene, Somerset House is an historic building where surprising and original work comes to life. From its 18th-century origins, Somerset House has been a centre for debate and discussion – an intellectual powerhouse for the nation. Somerset House is today a key cultural destination in London in which to experience a broad range of artistic activity, engage with artists, designers and makers and be a part of a major creative forum – an environment that is relaxed, welcoming, and inspirational to visit while providing a stimulating workplace for the cultural and creative industries. 

Since its opening in 2000, Somerset House has built up a distinctive outdoor public programme including Skate, concerts, an open-air film season and a diverse range of temporary exhibitions throughout the site focusing on contemporary culture, with an extensive learning programme attached. In October 2016, Somerset House launched Somerset House Studios, a new experimental workspace connecting artists, makers and thinkers with audiences. The Studios provide a platform for new creative projects and collaboration, promoting work that pushes bold ideas, engages with urgent issues and pioneers new technologies. Somerset House is also one of the biggest community of creative organisations in London including The Courtauld Gallery and Institute of Art, King’s College London Cultural Institute and over 100 other creative businesses. It currently attracts approximately 3.4 million visitors every year.   www.somersethouse.org.uk

About Charles Russell Speechlys
The construction and infrastructure practice at Charles Russell Speechlys works with clients in the UK and throughout the world. Our experience in the construction sector is broad and deep and our way of working is collaborative; ultimately construction is all about collaborative endeavour.

Our firm is based in 11 locations across the UK. Europe, Asia and the Middle East and through each of these locations clients are able to access the full range of the firm's skills and expertise across the full spectrum of business and personal needs. This gives us a wider perspective, clear insight and a strongly commercial long-term view. It has made us a leader in the world of dynamic growth and family businesses and major corporates and institutions find our more considered and personal approach a refreshing alternative to conventional business law firms.